Stress is a measurment of strength, it is how much pressure a material can withstand without undergoing physical change. There are a number of different types of stress.

Tensile strength/fracture stress
Tensile strength or fracture stress is the amount of stress a material can be put under before it fractures.

Yeild stress and yeild stength
Yeild stress or yeild strength is the amount of stress a material can take before it deforms permanently.

Caclulating stress
Stress is the pressure a material is under, that is the force per area. Stress is given the symbol sigma.

Stress is defined as the force per unit area of a material. i.e. Stress = force / cross sectional area:

σ = stress,

F = force applied, and A= cross sectional area of the object.
Units of s : Nm-2 or Pa.

Strain Strain is a measurement of how much a material has stretched. Stress causes strain on a material. Strain is a ratio between the original length of the material and the amount it has extended by, therefore:

Strain is defined as extension per unit length. Strain = extension / original length

A useful tip: In calculations stress expressed in Pa is usually a very large number and strain is usually a very small number. If we apply tensile force we have tensile stress and tensile strain If we apply compressive force we have compressive stress and compressive strain. The calculation of the Young's modulus of a sample of material is therefore: Stress-strain graphs You need to be able to use and recognise the parts of a graph of stress plotted against strain: The first thing to know is that the area under the curve represents the toughness of the material . We can use the above definitions of stress and strain for forces causing tension or compression. ε = strain. you've done it wrong! Young's modulus Young's modulus is a measurement of stiffness. If it comes out much different then.where. and l = stretched length Strain has no units because it is a ratio of lengths. .how much it resists stress. It describes how much a material will stretch (strain) when put under a given stress. lo = the original length e = extension = (l-lo).

Here are schematic stress-strain graphs of copper and glass.strain graph beyond elastic behaviour In this 'Learn-it' so far. Point C is the fracture point.the ratio between stress and strain is constant. In this region the material will return to it's original size. Hooke's law Hooke's law relates the force.Between the origin and point A the material is said to be elastic . The graph. using the equation: Where k is some constant. beyond this point the material will not obey Hooke's law and won't return to it's original shape when the stress is removed. Stress . These points are called breaking points. x. In the elastic region the stress-strain graph is a straight line. F. The stress at the breaking point is called the breaking stress of the material. we have drawn stress-strain graphs for the elastic behaviour of a material.the cross sectional area of the material decreases. Note: that both graphs end at points marked X. A material physically breaks at its breaking point. Breaking stress of a material. where the material splits into two. At point B the material undergoes 'necking' . acting upon a material and it's extension. It is very important for designers and engineers to know the value of the breaking stress for the materials they use. . Point A on the graph shows the elastic limit of the material. We can. however draw a stress strain graph beyond the elastic region. Here the rate of the extension increasing is going up. then becomes non-linear because Hooke's law is not obeyed and stress is not proportional to strain. is related to the energy required to break internal bonds between the atoms or the molecules of the material. The plastic region refers to the curve between points A and B. in principle. obeying Hooke's law.

represented by the area bound by the hysteresis loop is lost and eventually dissipated as heat. Within the range of the stress and strain of the graph. Although. It is different from the other two stress-strain graphs. In one loading and unloading cycle the strain energy. rubber undergoes high strains (extension) without breaking. in the following respects: 1. . the stress-strain graph has two branches (generated by loading up stress and unloading stress). It actually represents the fact that rubber is not a very good material for storing energy. one kind of rubber (polyisoprene) can be stretched ~500% without breaking 2. above.This diagram schematically shows the stress strain curve of rubber. rubber on loading returns to its original length (zero extension). For example. The loop formed by the two branches is called hysteresis loop.

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